Gordon Research Conferences
Meeting Details

Origins of Life
Gordon Research Conference

The Prebiotic Milieu Building the Evolution of Early Life


January 14-19, 2018


Hotel Galvez
Galveston, TX Site Information


Matthew A. Pasek

Vice Chair:
Nicolle E B. Zellner

Application Deadline

Applications for this meeting must be submitted by December 17, 2017. Please apply early, as some meetings become oversubscribed (full) before this deadline. If the meeting is oversubscribed, it will be stated here. Note: Applications for oversubscribed meetings will only be considered by the Conference Chair if more seats become available due to cancellations.

Meeting Description

The study of the origin of life occurs at an intersection of chemistry, physics, biology, geology, astronomy, and other fields. Conversations between these fields yield new insight and correct biases that are often invisible to individuals operating within a single discipline. This forthcoming Gordon Research Conference will explore new work in the origins field from planetary sciences to biochemistry and paleontology, covering the first billion years of the earth’s history. The sessions will provide a state-of-the-art update of the field, while also providing room for discussion and debate on some of the larger outstanding questions in our understanding of the origin of life. Sessions will attempt to provide the basic constraints on the starting material for the origin of life, and how the first biological material arose: the transition point from prebiotic chemistry to biochemistry. It will also cover habitable worlds and the search for life elsewhere, the innovation that comes from origins research, environments amenable to polymer formation, and the role of minerals in prebiotic chemistry.

The GRC will integrate with the preceding GRS (Gordon Research Seminar) both by asking the latter to report on exciting research forthcoming from new researchers, and by promoting active discussion to the conference. Funding is being sought to allow partial travel and registration support for both the GRC and the GRS for graduate students and postdoctoral scientists who participate as presenters in the Gordon Research Seminar.

Related Meeting

This GRC will be held in conjunction with the "Origins of Life" Gordon Research Seminar (GRS). Those interested in attending both meetings must submit an application for the GRS in addition to an application for the GRC. Refer to the associated GRS program page for more information.


Gordon Research Conferences

Preliminary Program

The topics and speakers for the conference sessions are displayed below (italics denote discussion leaders). The Conference Chair is currently developing their detailed program, which will include the complete meeting schedule, as well as the talk titles for all speakers. The detailed program will be available by September 14, 2017. Please check back for updates.

  • Keynote Session: Meteorites in the Origin of Life
    (Christopher Adcock / Jeff Bada / Daniel Glavin)
  • Prebiotic Environments
    (Bruce Damer / Laura Barge / Shigenori Maruyama / Nita Sahai)
  • Prebiotic Assembly
    (Paul Bracher / Yoshihiro Furukawa / Irena Mamajanov / Matthew Powner)
  • Phosphorus in the Origin of Life
    (Heather Abbott-Lyon / Ruth Blake / Solange Duhamel / Terence Kee)
  • Assembly at the Transition of Prebiotic Chemistry and Biochemistry
    (Aaron Engelhart / Nicholas Hud)
  • Early Evolution
    (Elisabeth Hausrath / Antonio Lazcano Araujo / Daniel Segre)
  • Habitable Worlds
    (Cesar Menor-Salvan / Stephen Mojzsis / Catherine Neish / Paula Welander)
  • Growing the Origins Research Field
    (Michael Gaylor / Steven Benner / Mary Voytek)
  • Selected Poster Presentations / Young Investigator Presentations
    (Nicolle Zellner)
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